McLeod Ganj is the residence of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama and home to a large Tibetan population, including many maroon-robed monks and nuns. The Tibetan government-in-exile is based at Gangchen Kyishong.
Mcleod Ganj is a short bus ride away from Dharamshala and filled with activities and places.
Mcleodganj offers courses in Buddhism, meditation or yoga, trekking in the Dhauladhar mountains, shopping for Tibetan crafts, or just hanging out enjoying the alternative vibe and the plethora of good cafes.
Mcleodganj is a serene animated town which can be enjoyed to the fullest without blowing your bank balance.
Best Places to visit in Mcleodganj are –
The Katoch dynasty, which built the Kangra Fort, which traces its origins to the ancient Trigarta Kingdom, mentioned in the Mahabharata epic.
Kangra Fort was built by the royal Rajput family and still stands today as the largest fort complex in the Himalayas and the oldest dated fort in India. The fort was built around 3500 years ago and is located 20 km from Dharamsala, on the outskirts of the town of Kangra in Himachal Pradesh.
The fort was built by a family believed to have royal lineage and had immense power over their subjects and lands. Naturally, their home and stronghold of Kangra Fort became a subject to numerous assaults by practically all strong influential rulers who at any point strolled India. All attempted to take the Kangra Stronghold under their influence as it was stated: ‘He who holds the Kangra fort, holds the slopes.’
The fort didn’t lose itself to anyone except Jahangir, after his father Akbar was defeated 52 times.
The Kangra fort is said to have 21 treasure wells – each well is 4 meters deep and about 2 and a half meters in circumference-the Sultan of Ghazni looted eight wells, the British in the 1890s found five more wells. Local beliefs are that the fort still hides within its wall eight more treasure wells.
Triund is a stunning ridge beneath the mighty Dhauladhar range, it carries the charm of Himalayas and hosts breathtaking views. Triund Hill camp is surrounded with jungle-clad terrains and located at an altitude of 2,828 metres, the jaw-dropping beauty of sunrise & sunset views leaves one in amusement.
Dharmashala is town in the Himachal District, it has all modern facilities to welcome a traveller and its own culture to charm the traveller.
Apart from being a wonderful world of Himachali beauty, Dharamshala is an adrenaline junkie’s dream and offers activities like camping, ziplining and paragliding
Dharamshala has an important bus station and an airport which makes it very accessible and gives all the more reason to pay a visit to this place.
DALAI LAMA TEMPLE
Tsuglakhang Temple is McLeodGanj, the Dalai Lama visits this temple twice or thrice every year to preach and bless. Thus, the temple gets its name as Dalai Lama Temple.
The temple has large statues of Buddha, Avaloktwshwara, Pamasambhava and others.
The temple is great for sightseeing and meditation. Upon entering the temple, one can find a few shops inside the complex that sell ritual items and books.
There is a memorial monument in the Temple, the main temple is beyond the monument.
In the main temple one can always find monks in red and yellow robes walking around in strict coordination.
Inside the temple there is a statue of Buddha sitting on a carved pedestal.
Pilgrims walk around the statue in clockwise direction as they rotate the prayer wheels. There is a large hall inside the temple for people to meditate.
The Tibet Museum is the official museum of the Central Tibetan Administration’s Department of Information and International Relations and is located near the main temple of the 14th Dalai Lama, Tsuglag Khang.
The Tibetan Museum in Mcleodganj is a fine specimen of Tibetan architecture and was primarily built to preserve the history and culture of Tibet. The museum has also been a major tourist attraction from visitors all across the globe. There have been lectures and exhibitions that were conducted in the premises. The stories of the lives of people have been showcased beautifully in the form of paintings and snaps.
The Tibetan Museum in Mcleodganj is a fine example of Tibetan artwork, building style and showcases Tibetean lifestyle. The museum was basically established to protect the history and culture of Tibet. The accounts of the lives of Tibetean individuals have been exhibited flawlessly as compositions and snaps.
Bhagsunag Falls also called Bhagsu Falls, is a beautiful waterfall near Bhagsunath Temple close to McLeod Ganj in Kangra area of Himachal Pradesh.
Falling down from a height of 20 m, this is a fairly sized cascade. During the area’s Himalayan rains, this waterfall turns lovelier; close by is a mountain that highlights records spray painted graffiti. This region is covered with snowfall during winters. Sightseers love to swim across the fall’s water which gives a charming and invigorating experience. Trekking is a favorable activity to do in this area.
The Bhagsu town is a well known picnic spot and furthermore home to the popular Bhagsunath Temple committed to Lord Shiva. The temple has been highly revered by the Hindus and the Gorkha Community. The sacred shrine is famed for its two pools that are believed to have healing properties. The best time to visit Bhagsunath Temple is during the annual fair that takes place here in the month of September.
GALLU DEVI TEMPLE
Gallu Devi is one of the many Goddesses in this part of Himachal and has a small temple dedicated to her in the Gallo village with a few shops around on top of a hill that overlooks the valley on two sides with some amazing views.
Gallu Devi Temple is the base camp for trekking up to Triund. The trek to Triund is only 3 hours from here.
Lahesh caves are at an elevation of 3475m and an uphill trekking distance away from Triund. Travellers visit this place for the best camping experience in Triund.
Lahesh caves are a natural rock cave shelter. From lahesh cave to Chhatta Parao. This is the bottom of Indrahar pass passing through the soft snow and icy streams.
St. John in the wilderness
The church of St. John in the wilderness rightfully deserves its name, this neo gothic style church is nestled between thick Himalayan woods.
The church boasts to be one of the oldest Anglican churches in Dharamsala/McLeod Ganj and of two magnificent stained glass panels, and a bell brought all the way from England!
The church was built in 1852, to provide a place of worship for the British soldiers posted here, and the church is full of memorial stones of those who passed away here, one is dedicated to Lord Elgin, the Viceroy of India from 1862-1863. The church also boasts of two magnificent stained glass panels, and a bell, cast by Mears and Stainbank, and brought all the way from England!